April 30, 2019 •

Iowa Legislature Adjourns After Overhauling Disclosure and Filing Requirements

Iowa Capitol Building

The Iowa Legislature adjourned sine die April 27 after a 104 day session.

In addition to legalizing sports betting and instituting limits on local government property taxes, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill to modify disclosure requirements for gifts or bequests to the state.

House File 393 requires the governor and executive departments to file the gift report electronically with the Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board if receiving a gift or bequest on behalf of the state of over $50.

The bill removes filing requirements with the General Assembly and for any gift less than $50.

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April 29, 2019 •

NYCU Video Digest – April 29, 20198

More ethics and campaign finance changes happening at the state level. Check out which states are making moves in today’s NYCU Video Digest!  

More ethics and campaign finance changes happening at the state level. Check out which states are making moves in today’s NYCU Video Digest!

 

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April 29, 2019 •

Washington Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

The Washington Legislature adjourned sine die April 28. During the 105-day legislative session, lawmakers passed House Bill 1195 amending the definitions of commercial advertiser and independent expenditure. House Bill 1195 requires independent expenditures to be reported electronically with the Public […]

The Washington Legislature adjourned sine die April 28.

During the 105-day legislative session, lawmakers passed House Bill 1195 amending the definitions of commercial advertiser and independent expenditure.

House Bill 1195 requires independent expenditures to be reported electronically with the Public Disclosure Commission if the aggregate value of similar expenditures from the same source exceeds $1,000.

The Legislature also passed House Bill 1379 raising the threshold for identifying and disclosing the top five contributors of a political advertisement sponsored by a political committee from $700 to $1,000.

House Bill 1379 requires political advertisements to disclose the sponsor’s top five contributors and if any are political committees the sponsor must also disclose the top three donors to those contributors.

The bills have been delivered to the Gov. Jay Inslee to sign, veto part of it, or veto all of it.

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April 29, 2019 •

Monday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance National: Pete Buttigieg Swears Off the Lobbyist Money He Once Accepted by Jeremy Peters and Shane Goldmacher for New York Times Missouri: Columbia Developer Funnels Tens of Thousands Through Shell PACs to Lawmakers by Yue Yu (Columbia Missourian) […]

Campaign Finance

National: Pete Buttigieg Swears Off the Lobbyist Money He Once Accepted by Jeremy Peters and Shane Goldmacher for New York Times

Missouri: Columbia Developer Funnels Tens of Thousands Through Shell PACs to Lawmakers by Yue Yu (Columbia Missourian) for KPVI

New Mexico: City Now Allows Online Donations for Candidates by Jessica Dyer for Albuquerque Journal

Ethics

National: Acting Defense Secretary Cleared of Wrongdoing in Probe of His ties to Boeing by Dan Lamothe and Missy Ryan for Washington Post

Maryland: Anne Arundel County Delegate Posts Advertisements, Tries to Sell Car on Official Social Media by Chase Cook for Capital Gazette

North Dakota: North Dakota Legislature Finalizes Ethics Bill, but ‘Safeguard’ Looms over Measure 1 Implementation by John Hageman (Forum News Service) for Dickinson Press

Tennessee: Feds to Sue Sen. Steve Dickerson and Other Pain Clinic Owners Over Fraud, Forgery Allegations by Brett Kelman for The Tennessean

Procurement

California: NRA Sues City of L.A. Over Its New Contract Disclosure Law by Dakota Smith for Los Angeles Times

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April 29, 2019 •

Iowa Senate Bill Concerning Lobbying by Political Subdivisions Introduced

On April 24, a bill relating to lobbying activities by political subdivisions was introduced into the Iowa Senate. Senate Bill 639 would enact new statutes concerning political subdivisions contracting with or otherwise compensating a person to lobby on behalf of […]

On April 24, a bill relating to lobbying activities by political subdivisions was introduced into the Iowa Senate.

Senate Bill 639 would enact new statutes concerning political subdivisions contracting with or otherwise compensating a person to lobby on behalf of the political subdivision.

The legislation requires authorities for a political subdivision to use requests for proposals to solicit lobbying services, limits the duration for lobbying contracts to five years, and prohibits renewals of contracts without new requests for proposals.

Additionally, the bill requires public disclosure of the lobbying contract.

The proposed legislation defines “political subdivision” as a county, city, township, community college, area education agency, or school district.

The legislation also defines “lobbying” as direct action to encourage the passage, defeat, approval, veto, or modification of legislation, a rule, or an executive order being considered by the general assembly, a state agency, or a statewide elected official.

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April 26, 2019 •

Chicago Releases New Lobbyist Ethics Training

The city of Chicago’s lobbyist ethics training for 2018-2019 is now available. The deadline to complete the mandatory training is before 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 1. The ethics training course is available at the Chicago Board of Elections website.

The city of Chicago’s lobbyist ethics training for 2018-2019 is now available.

The deadline to complete the mandatory training is before 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 1.

The ethics training course is available at the Chicago Board of Elections website.

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April 26, 2019 •

News You Can Use Digest – April 25, 2019

      National:  Constraints on Presidency Being Redefined in Trump Era, Report Fallout Shows MSN – Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey (Washington Post) | Published: 4/22/2019 The events that have followed the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report threaten to redefine […]

 

 

 

National: 

Constraints on Presidency Being Redefined in Trump Era, Report Fallout Shows
MSN – Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey (Washington Post) | Published: 4/22/2019

The events that have followed the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report threaten to redefine the legal and ethical standards that have long served as constraints on the American presidency. They also suggest that few, if any, of the traditional guardrails that have kept Donald Trump’s predecessors in check remain for this president and possibly those who will follow him. Current and former aides say they do not expect Trump to change his behavior, saying he is unlikely to be responsive to anything other than political pain in the form of a real revolt by Republican leadership or a sharp drop in poll numbers.

How the IRS Gave Up Fighting Political Dark Money Groups
ProPublica – Maya Miller | Published: 4/18/2019

“Dark money” spending is legal because of a massive loophole. Section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code allows organizations to make independent expenditures on politics while concealing their donors’ names as long as politics is not the organization’s “primary activity.” The IRS has the daunting task of trying to determine when nonprofits in that category, known colloquially as C4s, violate that vague standard. But the IRS’ attempts to police this class of nonprofits have almost completely broken down. Since 2015, thousands of complaints have streamed in that C4s are abusing the rules. But the agency has not stripped a single organization of its tax-exempt status for breaking spending rules during that period. The IRS’ abdication of oversight stems from a trio of causes.

From the States and Municipalities:

Alabama – How a Lawyer, a Lobbyist and a Legislator Waged War on a Birmingham Superfund Site
AL.com – Steven Mufson (Washington Post) | Published: 4/24/2019

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wanted to clean up toxic soil in the 35th Avenue Superfund site in Birmingham. The agency notified Drummond, a coal company, and four other manufacturers nearby that they would have to dig up and replace the soil on hundreds of residential yards. David Roberson, Drummond’s vice president and top lobbyist, worried it would cost his company $100 million or more. Roberson and his lawyer, Joel Gilbert, decided they needed someone who could persuade the people living on contaminated land to protest not the pollution, but the cleanup. They chose Oliver Robinson Jr. then a state representative. Prosecutors ultimately charged Robinson with receiving bribes, while Gilbert and Roberson were charged with bribery, conspiracy, and money laundering in the scheme to stop the EPA.

Alaska – As Capitol Reporters Dwindle, Alaska Lawmakers Grapple with Rise of Political Blogs
KTOO – Nat Herz | Published: 4/23/2019

The press corps in Juneau has a new addition this year: Jeff Landfield, a failed candidate for state Senate who is now running a colorful political blog called the Alaska Landmine. He is one of a growing number of political bloggers who are trying to fill in gaps left by Alaska’s shrinking mainstream media, posing challenges for both lawmakers and the bloggers themselves. Landfield was standing outside the chambers where the House meets recently, and he was getting some attention because he had a black eye. It was a souvenir, Landfield said, from when a legislative aide punched him a few days before at a Juneau bar.

Connecticut – Two Rival Politicians Accused Each Other of Using Drugs. The Result Was a Showdown at a Urinalysis Lab.
Washington Post – Antonia Noori Farzen | Published: 4/22/2019

Two feuding politicians in Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest city, spent much of the past week accusing each other of being on mind-altering substances after getting into an ugly fight in the comments section of a local political blog. Bridgeport City Councilperson Ernest Newton and Board of Education member Maria Pereira concluded they could only settle their dispute one way: by challenging each other to a public drug test. Newton, whose political career was interrupted by a five-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges, once struggled with an addiction to crack cocaine. Both tested negative for all 10 substances. But the feud did not die down.

Florida – Andrew Gillum Agrees to Pay $5,000 Ethics Fine
News Service of Florida – Tampa Bay Times | Published: 4/24/2019

Former Tallahassee Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum agreed to pay a $5,000 fine to settle a complaint he violated state law by accepted gifts worth more than $100 from lobbyists or their clients who had interests in the city and failed to report them. The Florida Commission on Ethics agreed to drop four additional counts in the settlement. The commission had found probable cause that Gillum violated ethics laws for allegedly accepting gifts from Tallahassee entrepreneur Adam Corey and undercover FBI agents posing as developers. Corey had been a close friend of Gillum and lobbied city officials. The charges related to trips to Costa Rica and New York, a boat ride around the Statue of Liberty, and a ticket to the Broadway hit, “Hamilton.”

Florida – Opioid Lawsuit Bill Stalls in Florida Committee Chaired by Sister-in-Law of Walgreens Lobbyist
Tampa Bay Times – Lawrencwe Mower | Published: 4/22/2019

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is suing the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors, accusing them of recklessly supplying Floridians with millions of drugs per year. But a bill that is critical to the lawsuit moving forward has stalled in the committee of a powerful lawmaker: Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, who said her committee would not hear it because of concerns the bill could invade the privacy of patients. Benacquisto said her objections are not related to her brother-in-law, Chris Hansen, a lobbyist whose clients include Walgreens – one of the defendants in Moody’s lawsuit.

Maine – Numbers of Maine Lawmakers Who Went on to Lobby
AP News – Marina Villeneuva | Published: 4/21/2019

At least 14 Democratic and eight Republican lawmakers in Maine have gone on to register as paid lobbyists over the past three decades, a practice that is being targeted by a bill moving through the state Legislature. The House and Senate advanced a bill to ban future lawmakers from any paid lobbying within their first year out of office. The state ethics commissions had called for the change in 2017. The Associated Press (AP) compared state lobbying reports with legislative rosters and found that nearly half of the 22 former lawmakers who registered as lobbyists over the past three decades did so within the same year of leaving office. The lawmakers-turned-lobbyists have raked in $3.6 million in total compensation for their firms, according to the AP analysis.

Maryland – Federal Agents Search Baltimore City Hall and Mayor Catherine Pugh’s Home
Washington Post – Ann Marimow, Peter Hermann, and Lynh Bui | Published: 4/25/2019

Federal agents searched Baltimore City Hall and Mayor Catherine Pugh’s home among other sites amid fallout from lucrative children’s book deals she cut with businesses connected to the government she has run since 2016. Pugh took an indefinite leave of absence beginning April 1 attributed to health issues following criticism of the more than $700,000 she was paid for her self-published “Healthy Holly” book series. The book-deal revelations have led to calls from the city council and state lawmakers for Pugh’s resignation; an investigation by the state prosecutor; and to the firing of several of her aides. Investigators are scrutinizing Pugh’s deals with entities including Kaiser Permanente, which was awarded city contracts, and the University of Maryland Medical System, on whose board she sat for many years.

Massachusetts – Amid ‘Slush Fund’ Criticism, Nearly All Legislative Caucuses Will Forgo Outside Donations
Boston Globe – Matt Stout | Published: 4/24/2019

All but one of the nearly two dozen caucuses formed by Massachusetts lawmakers say they will not solicit outside contributions, weeks after a new internal rule allowing legislative groups to raise private funds stirred controversy on Beacon Hill. The rule, which requires all caucuses to register with the House Committee on Rules, also bars lobbyists from donating and says caucuses must receive approval from House counsel before taking any gift of more than $50. The potential of taking donations outside of campaign finance disclosure laws drew intense heat, including criticisms it could create a legislative “slush fund.”

Minnesota – Minnesota Lawmakers, Lobbyists Describe Cautious Capitol in Wake of #MeToo
Minneapolis Star Tribune – Jessie Van Berkel | Published: 4/21/2019

A year and a half after reports of sexual harassment rocked the Minnesota Legislature and prompted two resignations, lawmakers and lobbyists describe a changed atmosphere at the Capitol. People are more cautious and aware of what crosses the line. There is also a new group of House members, many of them younger women, who are outspoken about addressing harassment and gender equality. But some at the Capitol say they worry the good behavior and awareness will fall by the wayside if the energy of the #MeToo movement fades from the spotlight.

Missouri – Lobbyist’s Crusade to Change Title IX in Missouri Stems from His Son’s Expulsion
Kansas City Star – Edward McKinley | Published: 4/23/2019

After his son was expelled from Washington University last year through the school’s Title IX process, a leading Jefferson City lobbyist launched a campaign to change the law for every campus in the state. Richard McIntosh has argued to legislators that Title IX, the federal law barring sexual discrimination in education and mandating that schools set up internal systems to police sexual violence, is tilted unfairly against the accused. His proposals create more protections for those accused of Title IX violations. Had McIntosh’s amendment been enacted, it would have allowed his son to appeal the result of his hearing to the state Administrative Hearing Commission, where his mother and McIntosh’s wife is the presiding and managing commissioner.

South Dakota – S.D. House Speaker Paid $12,000 for Lobbyist’s Legal Fees
KELOLAND – Bob Mercer | Published: 4/23/2019

South Dakota House Speaker Steven Haugaard authorized a payment of $12,000 for a lobbyist’s legal fees after he banned her from the chamber floor, and South Dakota Municipal League Executive Director Yvonne Taylor’s attorneys have asked a federal judge to dismiss the league’s lawsuit against Haugaard. Court documents say Haugaard called Taylor into his office and brought up her column from the league’s magazine. In the article, which appeared prior to the June 2018 primary elections, Taylor suggested voters make a distinction between what she called “The Normals” and the “Wackies” in the Legislature. One sentence said: “We desperately need to get that ‘wacky ratio’ down.” A judge issued a temporary restraining order against Haugaard and said the speaker was not protected by legislative immunity.

Texas – Conservative Group Empower Texans Sues Lawmaker to Gain State House Media Credentials
Texas Tribune – Emma Platoff | Published: 4/18/2019

Months after being denied media credentials for the Texas House, the conservative organization Texas Scorecard – a product of Empower Texans, a Tea Party-aligned political advocacy group with one of the state’s best-funded PACs – filed a First Amendment lawsuit arguing its rejection from the chamber constitutes “unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.” Before the legislative session began in January, two employees of Texas Scorecard applied for media credentials in the Legislature. In the Senate, their credentials were granted; in the House, they were denied. The two chambers follow similar rules about who is allowed special journalistic access to the floor, and both prohibit lobbyists. But the chambers’ political atmospheres are different.

Washington – A State Senator Said Nurses ‘Probably Play Cards’ at Work. Facing Mass Outrage, She’s Apologized.
Seattle Times – Allyson Chiu (Washington Post) | Published: 4/21/2019

While debating a bill that would give nurses uninterrupted meals and breaks at work and protect them from mandatory overtime, Washington Sen. Maureen Walsh arguing that hospitals in rural communities should be excluded from the measure because the requirements would place too much strain on those facilities. “By putting these types of mandates on a critical access hospital that literally serves a handful of individuals, I would submit to you that those nurses probably do get breaks – they probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day,” Walsh said. The comment sparked an online petition calling for her to shadow a nurse and “experience what really happens” during a 12-hour shift. The senator’s office has also been flooded with angry phone calls and emails as well as packages containing decks of playing cards.

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April 25, 2019 •

Indiana General Assembly Adjourns

The first regular session of the 121st Indiana General Assembly adjourned sine die on Wednesday, April 24. The legislative session lasted 112 days, with adjournment coming five days before the statutory April 29 deadline. During the last day of the […]

The first regular session of the 121st Indiana General Assembly adjourned sine die on Wednesday, April 24.

The legislative session lasted 112 days, with adjournment coming five days before the statutory April 29 deadline.

During the last day of the session, legislators approved more than three dozen bills including a two-year state budget.

Additionally, the legislature passed a gaming bill that legalizes sports wagering.

The second regular session of the 121st General Assembly is scheduled to convene on January 2, 2020.

An organization day scheduled for November 9, 2019.

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April 25, 2019 •

Thursday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Pennsylvania: “Ex-Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison in Case Tied to Allentown Corruption” by Peter Hall for Allentown Morning Call Ethics National: “Trump Says He Is Opposed to White House Aides Testifying to Congress, […]

Campaign Finance

Pennsylvania: “Ex-Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison in Case Tied to Allentown Corruption” by Peter Hall for Allentown Morning Call

Ethics

National: “Trump Says He Is Opposed to White House Aides Testifying to Congress, Deepening Power Struggle with Hill” by Robert Costa, Tom Hamburger, Josh Dawsey and Rosalind Helderman (Washington Post) for MSN

National: “Six Trump Interior Appointees Are Being Investigated for Possible Ethical Misconduct” by Juliet Eilperin and Dino Grandoni (Washington Post) for MSN

National: “Divided on Impeachment, Democrats Wrestle with Duty and Politics” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Nicholas Fandos for New York Times

Alabama: “How a Lawyer, a Lobbyist and a Legislator Waged War on a Birmingham Superfund Site” by Steven Mufson (Washington Post) for AL.com

Alaska: “Lawmakers Strike Compromise on Scaling Back Conflict of Interest Restrictions” by Andrew Kitchenman for KTOO

Florida: “Andrew Gillum Agrees to Pay $5,000 Ethics Fine” by News Service of Florida for Tampa Bay Times

Pennsylvania: “Ex-Sheriff John Green Admits Taking Bribes: ‘I have betrayed the confidence’ of Philly citizens” by Jeremy Roebuck for Philadelphia Inquirer

Washington: “A State Senator Said Nurses ‘Probably Play Cards’ at Work. Facing Mass Outrage, She’s Apologized.” by Allyson Chiu (Washington Post) for Seattle Times

Legislative Issues

Alaska: “As Capitol Reporters Dwindle, Alaska Lawmakers Grapple with Rise of Political Blogs” by Nat Herz for KTOO

Lobbying

South Dakota: “S.D. House Speaker Paid $12,000 for Lobbyist’s Legal Fees” by Bob Mercer for KELOLAND

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April 24, 2019 •

Arkansas General Assembly Adjourns Sine Die

This week, the regular session of the 92nd Arkansas General Assembly adjourned sine die. Lasting a total of 88 days, the session ended Wednesday, April 24. The 93rd General Assembly is scheduled to convene on Monday, January 11, 2021.

This week, the regular session of the 92nd Arkansas General Assembly adjourned sine die.

Lasting a total of 88 days, the session ended Wednesday, April 24.

The 93rd General Assembly is scheduled to convene on Monday, January 11, 2021.

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April 24, 2019 •

Wednesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance North Carolina: “Dan Forest Corrects Report to Show a Donation from Greg Lindberg” by Paul Specht for Raleigh News and Observer Ethics National: “Constraints on Presidency Being Redefined in Trump Era, Report Fallout Shows” by Ashley Parker and […]

Campaign Finance

North Carolina: “Dan Forest Corrects Report to Show a Donation from Greg Lindberg” by Paul Specht for Raleigh News and Observer

Ethics

National: “Constraints on Presidency Being Redefined in Trump Era, Report Fallout Shows” by Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey (Washington Post) for MSN

National: “Supreme Court’s Conservatives Appear Likely to Let Trump Add Citizenship Question to 2020 Census” by Robert Barnes and Mark Berman for Washington Post

Colorado: “Investigation into One Lobbyist’s Actions Raises Questions About Workplace Harassment Policy at The Capitol” by Bente Birkeland for Colorado Public Radio

Connecticut: “Two Rival Politicians Accused Each Other of Using Drugs. The Result Was a Showdown at a Urinalysis Lab.” by Antonia Noori Farzen for Washington Post

Maryland: “Baltimore City Council to Weigh New Ethics Rules and Limits on Mayoral Power Amid Healthy Holly Controversy” by Ian Duncan and Kevin Rector for Baltimore Sun

New Hampshire: “Financial Disclosure Bill Stalls in Senate” by David Solomon for Manchester Union Leader

Lobbying

National: “K Street Gets Behind Mayor Pete Buttigieg” by Kate Ackley for Roll Call

Florida: “Opioid Lawsuit Bill Stalls in Florida Committee Chaired by Sister-in-Law of Walgreens Lobbyist” by Lawrencwe Mower for Tampa Bay Times

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April 23, 2019 •

Missouri Calls Special Election to Fill Two House Vacancies

A special election will take place on November 5 to fill vacancies in House Districts 99 and 158. Rep. Jean Evans resigned from District 99 to become executive director of the Missouri Republican Party. Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick left District 158 […]

A special election will take place on November 5 to fill vacancies in House Districts 99 and 158.

Rep. Jean Evans resigned from District 99 to become executive director of the Missouri Republican Party.

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick left District 158 to serve as state treasurer.

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April 23, 2019 •

Tuesday’s LobbyComply News Roundup

Campaign Finance Tennessee: “Senate Approves Bill to Double Campaign Contribution Limits to Members of Upper Chamber” by Joel Ebert for The Tennessean Ethics National: “Trump Sues in Bid to Block Congressional Subpoena of Financial Records” by David Fahrenthold, Rachael Bade, […]

Campaign Finance

Tennessee: “Senate Approves Bill to Double Campaign Contribution Limits to Members of Upper Chamber” by Joel Ebert for The Tennessean

Ethics

National: “Trump Sues in Bid to Block Congressional Subpoena of Financial Records” by David Fahrenthold, Rachael Bade, and John Wagner for MSN

National: “The Go-To Lawyer for Governors Facing Impeachment” by Alan Greenblatt for Governing

Illinois: “Ex-Top Aide to Dorothy Brown Goes on Trial on Charges of Lying About Pay-to-Play Allegations” by Rosemary Sobel and Jason Meisner for Chicago Tribune

Minnesota: “Minnesota Lawmakers, Lobbyists Describe Cautious Capitol in Wake of #MeToo” by Jessie Van Berkel for Minneapolis Star Tribune

Oregon: “Oregon Officials Approve $50,000 Ethics Case Settlement with Cylvia Hayes” by Ben Botkin for Salem Statesmman Journal

Lobbying

Louisiana: “Numbers of Maine Lawmakers Who Went on to Lobby” by Marina Villeneuva for AP News

Redistricting

Missouri: “Missouri GOP, Fighting Redistricting Changes, Courts Unlikely Ally: Black Democrats” by Jason Hancock for Kansas City Star

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April 22, 2019 •

Georgia Raises Contribution Limits

Last week, the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission voted to raise contribution limits. For statewide elected offices the contribution limits raised from $6,600 to $7,000 for primary and general elections. Primary and general runoff elections limits were raised from […]

Last week, the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission voted to raise contribution limits.

For statewide elected offices the contribution limits raised from $6,600 to $7,000 for primary and general elections.

Primary and general runoff elections limits were raised from $3,900 to $4,100 for statewide elected offices.

Contribution limits for all other offices were also raised from $2,600 to $2,800 for primary and general elections and from $1,400 to $1,500 for primary and general runoff elections.

The previous contribution limits had not changed since 2016.

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